An inveterate traveler whose rĂ©sumĂ© includes a stint as an apprentice hunting guide in Zimbabwe and risk-management consultancies in the Middle East, Simon Cameron founded bespoke tour operator Lightfoot Travel (lightfoottravel.com) in 2009, specializing in Asian, African, and South American destinations from its offices in Singapore and Hong Kong. Here, the globetrotting Briton shares some of his choicest travel moments.
Of all the places youâ€™ve visited, which has left the most vivid impression?
In 2002, I was working for a firm that won a contract from the UNDP to help with reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. I traveled all over the country talking to villagers and tribal chiefs about the upcoming elections. Everywhere I went, whether by Land Cruiser, helicopter, or even donkey, we were met by such warmth and hospitality that my preconceptions of this war-torn country were instantly erased.
And more recently?
Myanmar, which I visited last year on a 10-day trip with my wife. We began in Mandalay, took a boat down the Irra-waddy, then flew to Inle Lake before going south to the beaches. It surprised me how big Myanmar isâ€”itâ€™s the second-largest country in Southeast Asia. Itâ€™s also a little like step-ping back in time, especially Yangon, where thereâ€™s an amazing inventory of colonial buildings that, while run- down, evoke a bygone Southeast Asia like nowhere else Iâ€™ve been.
Do you have a favorite beach destination?
In Indonesia, north Lombok is great. Sri Lanka, too; I grew up there, and now itâ€™s a convenient place to reunite with family coming from Europe.
Where do you recommend for getting off the beaten track?
Trekking in Bhutan can be very remote and is a great option for the escapist. You can go for as little as one night or as long as three weeks on the challenging Snowman trek, which leads from Paro to the northern district of Lunana, passing beneath six 7,000-meter-plus summits along the way. And then thereâ€™s Africa: some of the lodges we work with there have huge concessions with only eight rooms. It doesnâ€™t get more â€śout thereâ€ť than that. -Christi Hang
Â This piece will appear in theÂ August/September 2013 issueÂ as â€śQ&Aâ€ť